… demi agama dan bangsa, though sometimes it’s demi bangsa dan agama – don’t ask me why the inconsistency, but at least the negara bit always come last - hmmm.
Now, during the UMNO general assembly’s debate on society and religion, Penang delegate Shahbudin Yahaya singled out four NGOs - the Inter-Faith Council, Pusat Komas, Penang Global Ethics Project and Sisters in Islam (SIS) - for carrying out activities that ‘threaten’ Islam.
Threaten Islam – OK then, in this case it’s demi agama …
Let’s pick one of those three for discussion - only 3 because the Inter-Faith Council is not an NGO as it was shot down by AAB - Shahbudin screwed the Penang Global Ethics Project (PGEP) for having the bloody gall to conduct ‘tours’ of various places of worship and worse, telling participants that all religions are similar.
Shahbudin was shocked by PGEP's audacity: “Imagine Islam being put on the same level as other religions. How are we going to defend the hadith?”
Mind you, he’s not unique in his belief because there are followers of other religion who feel the same way, but then in multi-racial multi-cultural and multi-religious Malaysia, his public utterance seemed a bit insensitive, that is, to look down on other religions instead of showing some respect - mind you, not belief but just neighbourly respect.
But alas, as the topic at the UMNO general assembly was 'society & religion', he has to demonstrate his concerns demi agama ...
Shahbudin identified the naughty organisations which have backed the Penang Global Ethics Project as Universiti Sains Malaysia, Municipal Council of Penang and the worst of the whole lot, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAF).
He said of the German-based KAF, which incidentally has close links with Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union, as a far more dangerous threat than local NGOs towards the stability of Islam in Malaysia. That's because of KAF's systematic and organised means of using Malays and Muslims through offers of political education, grants for scientific fact-finding research for political projects and scholarships for gifted individuals.
Oh, those naughty Germans. Hmmm, maybe the Sultan of Johor could have a point about 'stinking' foreigners, though His Royal Loose Cannon was referring more to another KAF (Kiasu Always Frightened).
Incidentally KAF (er ... the German one, that is) has a office in Malaysia and has hosted a number of functions which were officiated by Malaysian dignitaries, including cabinet ministers such as Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.
I wonder what the two cousins have to say? "Wait Datuks, we would like to ask .....". Alamak, both have scooted off to their Mercedes Benz's!
Anyway, back to the Penang Global Ethics Project. Early this year, it held an exhibition which promotes the theme that "the common ethical values which can be the basis of peace and dialogue amongst the world's religious communities".
Mind you, common ethical values, and not any insidious attempt to tamper with religious precepts!
But Shahbudin wasn't going to be lulled by that. He pointed out that on PGEP's website, the NGO promotes one common principle which it calls the golden rule, "Treat others as you like to be treated", and its claims that variations of the rule are found in all religions.
... perhaps like ‘reap what you sow’ and 'Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, that Allah may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back from evil'
... and of course the karmic/kammic laws of 'cause and effect' of the Hindus and Buddhists.
Shahbudin has been terribly upset that the NGO has the bloody nerve to promote such common 'ethical values’. Maybe his worldview says ‘fuck that golden rule’?